Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Unexpected Hospitality

The holidays are indeed a time for parties, but also a time for unannounced guests.  The old friend that is on the way home for the holidays and realizes that you are right off of their path, or the long forgotten cousin who is just passing through.  Do you rush them off just as quickly as you can because it is almost dinner time, and you don't have anything to fix them? Or do you happily pull out your old tried and true cupboard staples and whip together food for the company?  How do you respond to these unexpected holiday visitors?   Today I would like to take a break from my normal Tuesday post about my Bible reading to continue the holiday theme posts with a look at how Sarah extends hospitality to her unanticipated guests. 
In Genesis 18, it is a hot day, the kind of day that no woman wants to cook.  For many of us, this would be a cold-cut sandwich and chips day.   Then suddenly from the front of the tent Sarah hears Abraham yell, "Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes."  The scripture doesn't actually tell us Sarah's response, but there is no indication in the text that Sarah did anything other than her husband's bidding.    

When those unexpected guests drop in around the holidays, or any time for that matter, what will my response be?  Do I groan and complain because they should have called, or am I hospitable without complaint as Peter commands me to be (I Peter 4:9)?   Just like every other area of obedience in my Christian walk, it is easier for me to do the right thing if I have thought about the situation in advance and have a plan to follow.  Sarah seemed to have this down pat.  Sarah had a ready recipe for just such a time, so much so that her husband was able to quote it to her.  She didn't have to run to the store, because she kept the ingredients on hand.  This wasn't a difficult recipe.  

Welcoming others into our home isn't a choice, it is a command for us to obey without complaint.  Being hospitable at a moments notice doesn't have to be difficult, but it is something that we need to think about in advance and be ready for.  Perhaps this means having hamburger precooked in the freezer and a can of sauce and noodles on hand.  Are you like Sarah?  Do you have a go to plan for unexpected guests?  Please share your ideas below

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